An Ukrainian transport aircraft IL-76 was shot down today by pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, killing many soldiers, as the Ukrainian Defence Ministry announced.
“The terrorists deliberately used big automatic weapons and shot down the IL-76 of the Ukrainian Air Force, which carried soldiers and was preparing to land at the airport of Luhansk,” the ministry reported.
According to Reuters, which cites sources in the Ukrainian government, all 49 passengers are dead.
According to the same source, “soldiers and equipment” were on the aircraft.
Russia lashed out at Ukrainian government claiming that the Ukrainian army breached its border with at least one military vehicle.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to submit a formal complaint to the Ukrainian government, the spokesman of Russian government said according to Russian news agencies.
Russian border guards said that a Ukrainian armoured vehicle was found on Friday afternoon at Rostov. The vehicle was within 150 meters of the territory of Russia and added that the vehicle was empty, but the crew returned later to take it back.